Sunday, 09 December, 2018

Cabinet clears Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill 2018, confirms FM Arun Jaitley

Cabinet clears Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill assets to be confiscated without conviction Pic courtesy ANI
| 02 March, 2018, 08:02

In order to tighten noose around such big frauds, Fugitive Economic Offenders Bill will enable confiscation of assets without conviction in cases where economic offenders flee the country, while the NFRA will be an independent regulator for auditors who are directly or indirectly involved in monetary transactions in any financial institutions.

"The Bill is expected to re-establish the rule of law with respect to the fugitive economic offenders as they would be forced to return to India to face trial for scheduled offences. Even benami assets, if any, would be seized".

The provisions of the bill will apply for economic offenders like Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya against whom arrest warrant has been issued and are refusing to return to India after defaulting with their loans above Rs 100 crore.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley briefed reporters on the Bill and hoped that it will be passed in the upcoming session of Parliament. "There will also be the provision to confiscate those assets outside India but co-operation of that country will be needed", said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

The Bill has been proposed to address the lacunae in the present laws and lay down measures to deter economic offenders from evading the process of Indian law by remaining outside the jurisdiction of Indian courts.


It is expected that the special forum to be created for expeditious confiscation of the proceeds of crime, in India or overseas, would coerce the fugitive to return to India to submit to the jurisdiction of Courts in India to face the law in respect of scheduled offences, the government said. The bill is likely to be tabled in Parliament on March 6, when the second the part of the Budget session that starts.

The legislation empowers a Director appointed by the Central government as per Section 49 of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 2002 to file an application in a Special Court for a declaration that an individual is a fugitive economic offender. Kejriwal took to Twitter and wrote: "Pehle chhote Modi (Nirav Modi) ko bhaga diya, ab bill laa rahe ho (First you let Nirav Modi flee the country, now you are bringing the bill)".

Under the Law, the offender will be "disentitled" from bringing forward or defending any civil claim.

The powers would now be vested with the National Financial Reporting Authority, a new regulatory authority. Being declared a fugitive offender will have many consequences - confiscation of all assets in India. An administrator will be appointed to manage and dispose of the confiscated property under the Act.

The offenses will include cases above Rs 100 crore.

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